Two people were injured and almost 10,000 homes were without power for a time after dangerous thunderstorms swept through south-east Queensland on Wednesday.
The severe thunderstorms come just a day before Queensland’s extreme heatwave, with temperatures expected to soar nine degrees above the average.
A woman in her 50s was taken taken to hospital after being struck by lightning in Helensvale.
Paramedics were called at about 3.30pm for the woman, reportedly a traffic controller, who was holding a pole when it was struck by lightning.
A Queensland ambulance spokesperson said the woman was transported to Gold Cost University hospital conscious and in a stable condition, with no obvious burn marks.
Minutes earlier in the afternoon a teenage boy suffered leg and hip injuries after a tree fell on him in Forest Lake.
Paramedics were called to Kondalilla Parade at about 3.20pm, and the teen was taken to hospital with a fractured leg in a serious but stable condition.
The SES in south-east Queensland reported just 25 call outs during the storm, with the majority of incidents involving leaking roofs and fallen trees.
The storm has cut power to thousands of homes, with southern Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast most affected.
As of 6pm more than 6000 homes were without power. The worst affected areas were Jimboomba with 915, and Maroochydore with 1613.
An Energex spokesperson said at the height of the storm around 9600 customers were without power, and there were 38 crews across the region working hard to restore it.
The southern areas of Brisbane were hit hardest by the heavy rain, windy conditions and hailstones.
Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Janine Yuasa told Fairfax Media earlier thunderstorms often precede heatwaves like the one expected to bring soaring temperatures to Queensland on Friday.
Brisbane’s temperature is forecast for 33 on Thursday, and is expected to peak at 38 degrees on Friday. Inland centres will suffer most, with Ipswich is set for a maximum of 41 degrees, Birdsville forecast to hit a top of 43, and Roma at 42 degrees.
Queensland doctors have warned the extreme heat could potentially be deadly if people aren’t careful.
AMA Queensland President Dr Chris Zappala said the best way to prevent heat-related illness or death is to stay cool and hydrated.
“Heatwaves are the most deadly natural phenomenon in Australia, claiming hundreds of lives each year,” Dr Zappala said.
“This summer is set to be a scorcher so it’s important for all of us to take extra care.
“That’s especially true of vulnerable groups like the sick, elderly, babies, pregnant women, and breast-feeding mothers.”
Dr Zappala said higher temperatures can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke, symptoms of which include, rapid heart rate, dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, and headache.
“If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should take immediate steps to lower your body temperature – lie down somewhere cool, drink cool water, remove your outer clothing and contact your GP,” he said.